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How am I a burden?

I'm overweight (not much, but it's there).
I drink pop occasionally, but prefer coffee.
I smoke (I'm doing it right now).
DH and I occasionally go out for drinks and dancing.
We have health insurance through our employers for us and our kids.
So why am I being charged extra taxes for liking sugar and nicotine and alcohol because I will become (as a fat chain-smoker) a "burden" on the government's insurance program? They don't pay for me, they never have. I pay for me.
So who exactly am I paying for? And why? If it's for insurance for a child whose parents lost their job, or whose father walked out and left mom to fend for herself, THAT I have no problem with. But I don't see how these kids (who are probably not fat chain-smokers) are going to be a burden either.

Answer Question

Asked by plylerjones at 8:28 AM on Jul. 2, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 11 (508 Credits)
Answers (62)
  • What?

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 8:31 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • USA Today (the only paper I can read online in my office) is discussing the need to tax soda, alcohol, and cigarettes in order to pay for UHC, because obesity and cancer are the biggest burdens on the health care industry.
    But I don't depend on the government to pay my medical bills - I pay them with my private insurance.
    So why should you pay more in taxes to support my lifestyle and it's detrimental effects when I pay for it out of my pocket?

    Answer by plylerjones at 8:40 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • you may not be a burden now, but under a socialized health care plan you will be considered a liability as your overall declining health issues (as a result of your lifestyle choices) are going to cost insurers more money (extra tests, procedures, etc) than someone who makes wise health and lifestyle choices.

    my husband's health plan already rewards us and our children with each health physical and dental check keeping our weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels within normal ranges, not smoking, and not having any cavities...we EACH earn $500 per year...that's an extra $2000 JUST for making a conscious effort to take care of our bodies.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:40 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • Actually, you pay extra if you are "at risk" or participate in "risky behaviors" with private insurance as well. You are also at risk of being dropped form some private insurance companies, check out the insurance companies testimony to congress 2 weeks ago you might find it interesting

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 8:41 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • They already massively taxed tobacco.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:42 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • Heck, I wish our private insurance would bribe us to be healthy! I'd throw out the sugar right now!
    Our rates haven't changed in ten years, even though they know we smoke. Our life insurance costs 3 dollars a month for half million dollar policys and THEY know we smoke.
    DH and I actually don't get physicals - we go to the doc if we're too sick to take care of it ourselves, but that's it. I think I've been to the doctor 5 times in my life (3 kids, a burst appendix, and a CAT scan to check on an anueryism). oh yea, and a broken arm so that makes 6. (I actually tried to set the arm myself - not recommended!!)
    The kids go for their check-ups but that's about it.

    Answer by plylerjones at 8:46 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I agree, you are paying for your own behavior. However, the government is not happy with this, and wants to regulate everything you do. *sigh*

    Answer by mancosmomma at 8:51 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • I just have the sneaky suspicion that this tax money to pay for UHC isn't actually going toward UHC. If we have private insurance and we LIKE it, why force us to get insurance from the government? Then when my rates go through the roof because Blue Cross says "enough!" I'd be more tempted to change my lifestyle.
    But if I know the governments going to pay for it all, where is the impetus to change on my own? If I know that when I finally get lung cancer that my family isn't going to be socked with a huge medical bill because the government is picking up the tab, then why would I bother trying to stop smoking?

    Answer by plylerjones at 8:52 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • However, the government is not happy with this, and wants to regulate everything you do. *sigh*

    They can kiss my big white butt! lol! Last time I checked, they work for ME, not the other way around! Maybe we should start taking applications for new congressional representatives.... now I must run because the baby is gnawing on my toe so I guess it's time for breakfast...

    Answer by plylerjones at 8:56 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

  • when you think about it, we already ask the government to tell us what to do...we demand that schools feed our children, give them structure and obedience training, that government agencies clothe and house us, that government gives us a few bucks and an education when we are unable or unwilling to do so ourselves.

    We allow local/state agencies to enforce a variety of motor vehicle laws and restrictions, to tell us how to operate our businesses--hours of operation, smoking vs. non-smoking, signage, noise and traffic controls, etc.

    This should come as no surprise that the government feels it's in our best interest to continue to hold our hands and punish us for not choosing wisely, but without taking away our "rights!"

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:58 AM on Jul. 2, 2009

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